The Colors of Our World

northern exposures, poetry


This is the palette of our world: the dusky green of spruce, healthy and tinged with blue in summer but dull in winter; the bright summer greens of willow, aspen and cottonwood that transform into fall yellows and gold.  Most of our flowers are patchy, mute and spare. Delicate rose pink and pale crocus blue are my favorites. Occasional patches of fireweed, rosehip and cranberry dot the earth with shades of red.

There is the sky arching above our summer days, a specular blue I have not known since my childhood. And when the winter nights fall, fairies come out to dance in heaven’s vault – dressed in shimmering greens and reds – prancing and pirouetting before the stars.

But of all the colors of our world, white is the boldest. Even the willow knows and raises its catkins high, lest we forget.

Sun light, willow bright,

Presage the coming

Of that night

When earth and sky

Shall yield to white



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